From the editors

Getting serious about humor

The humour column in our February issue was controversial, with lengthy discussions ensuing at Miscellany for deletion, ANI, ArbCom, and other forums. As a result the humour page was blanked but not deleted. We were saddened that our acting editor-in-chief and two other contributors subsequently left The Signpost of their own volition.

The column's headline was “Pesky pronouns”, but was about non-neutral writing of several kinds. The column was originally written by SMcCandlish, one of Wikipedia's most productive and thoughtful editors, on a user page. With his consent we reprinted it in last month's Signpost. Some readers interpreted the pronoun-related material as an attack against the transgender community. We do not believe that any Signpost editor or contributor intended to attack the transgender community, but we also do not believe that our readers were wrong to complain about the column.

Rather, we believe that we can now use this controversy as an opportunity to inform all of our readers and staff about violence and discrimination against the transgender community and how we can all work to prevent it in our lives and online. The special report by Bluerasberry is one step towards this goal.

An apology

We apologize to all our readers who were offended by the column. As Wikipedia's internal newspaper for the community, The Signpost must be more sensitive to potential offense or insult among our diverse readership. In hindsight, we should not have published the column.

We pledge that we will never attack or mock any group whose members include those who do not have a choice about their membership in the group. Groups covered by this pledge include, but are not limited to, those based on race, nationality, sex, gender, age, disability, social or economic status, veteran status, body type, or religion.

Is it even possible to write humor that doesn't ever mock these groups? Of course it is! An excellent example is in this issue's humour column, The Epistolary of Arthur 37.

Farewells, not goodbyes

We are sad to see the departure of three contributors from The Signpost. Bri and Kudpung saved this publication a year ago after the unannounced departure of its then editor-in-chief and a hiatus in publishing. We will be grateful for as long as there is a Signpost—which we expect to be a long time. Also departing is Barbara (WVS), our long-time humour columnist who has been as funny and good-humoured as her columns.

We're sorry that contributors to The Signpost sometimes are subject to such storm and fury.

A personal note

You might know me as Smallbones, and perhaps even know something of my work about paid editing, or seen some of my photos of sites on the National Register of Historic Places. I'm The Signpost's new editor-in-chief.

I'll try not to overwhelm you with my two favorite topics—not everybody has the same interests I do. The best way to counter the problem of the EiC's interests dominating The Signpost is to submit your own articles on your own favorite topics, or just drop us a suggestion on a topic that interests you on our suggestion page.

An important part of the EiC job is to ensure that The Signpost follows Wikipedia's rules and to read every word in every article to make sure violations of our policies and guidelines do not happen. If you believe there is a violation, please politely inform us on the article's talk page. I'll take every such report seriously, even if I disagree with you. If there is no satisfactory response, please email me directly and I'll try my best to make sure that any violations are corrected. This promise is not a guarantee that I'll take the actions you request. I will not censor a contributor's opinion simply because you disagree with it.

All Wikipedia users have the right to take any further complaints to the Administrators' noticeboard for incidents or the arbitration committee, but please remember that your complaint will be against me, since I am in charge of compliance with Wikipedia's rules, and not against our writers, staff or other contributors.


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I'm sorry about the controversy and the departure of the editors. However, so much of humor depends on delivery and intonation. You don't have that in the written word. Writing humor is almost an entirely different set of principles. That's why, unless you're someone like P.G. Wodehouse or Steve Martin, don't even try to write extended humor because most people can't convey it. Similarly lots of sarcasm is problematic because the signals are not there, many take it to be true. Save the humor for 1- or 2-lines and be serious - so you can be taken seriously. - kosboot (talk) 15:21, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you, Smallbones, for stepping up. Long live The Signpost! Benjamin (talk) 15:24, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • And I also like the way you stepped up, SB, especially the part where you seem willing to go to the wall for your writers, staff and other contributors! I've heard it said that mere words have no power. So much for that, judging by the controversy that has led to this moment. I'd like to say kudos to those who tipped the scales in the great pronoun debate. If you are not already great and published writers, then you damn well should be! Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  16:03, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • I wanted to say how excellent this month's Signpost was given the loss of three writers and, no doubt, a significant amount of time taken up by the pronoun saga. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:03, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • What jumps out to me is the deliberate choice to include the sentence "We're sorry that contributors to The Signpost sometimes are subject to such storm and fury." The complaints made were legitimate. Marginalizing the complaints and those who were brave enough to make complaints in public on-wiki, as "storm and fury", makes this a "sorry-not-sorry" defence, not a meaningful apology. -- (talk) 17:55, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • And here I thought that SB sent that out to "all" contributors, not just to the ones who were offensive or offended in the pronoun discussion. I hope that in the future you will be able to use more objectivity in your readings. It seemed clear that all persons who read or became involved in the pronoun discussion were subject to that particular "storm and fury", weren't they? It wasn't just one particular side who generated it. Arguments require two sides to generate such storm and fury. Best to you, ! Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  20:11, 5 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
      • This was not a debate with "sides". From the outset, before publication, it was spelt out that the essay would be offensive for trans and genderqueer people. It is not the fault of trans and genderqueer people that an essay that from the first line appears to deride them as "it" is offensive. At a minimum the Signpost should have given a real apology, which did not rush to defend those that chose to publish it, write it, and continue to use Wikipedia to host it. The fact is that Signpost has taken zero action to put things right, zero action to make relevant change to Signpost editorial policy, and the primary advocates of it who went out of their way to be hostile and offensive to all critics, are active editors of the current Signpost, they have not resigned, this is hand wringing self pitying fakenews nonsense. Those same active editors have never apologised, have no intention of making any real apology (apart from the sorry-not-sorry of "sorry you took offense"), and believe it was right that Signpost publish the essay, that their actions are protected by free speech which in their world view means that trans and genderqueer people should be blamed for not having a sense of humour about their being derided as objects. By hosting this type of anti-queer rhetoric, Wikipedia is made complicit in driving away genderqueer contributors and making this a less safe, less comfortable space for all LGBT+ contributors. The response of our "welcoming community"? Defending the misogynistic "blond" jokes of the 1970s; not funny, it never was. Grow up and stop turning harassment of minorities into a spectator sport. -- (talk) 07:40, 8 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
        • Who are these editors you speak of that you say have not resigned and are part of the problem? The biggest supporters and users most closely associated have all resigned unnecessarily thanks to this witch hunting. I am now restating the facts to remind you as you seem to have forgotten. Out of the five regulars in the Signpost's previous era:
          • Evad voted blank.
          • I voted delete; later switched to blank.
          • Chris voted keep but he is not an editor; he has stated on multiple occasions that he is merely a button-pusher who took the job because he has the requisite user rights. I will not link any diffs as such comments are fairly easy to find.
          • Acorri and Tbayer are single-column writers who don't play a big role in editing.
          • Also: Smallbones was previously an occasional contributor. He stepped into the editor-in-chief position and wrote a very sincere apology knowing full well he would take a lot of hate from it.
        • Please stop harassing us. You have made your points many times before and now they only serve to continue to reignite the drama. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 12:41, 8 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
          Nice, so I'm "harassing" Signpost, by following Smallbones' advice to raise my comments here, rather than Signpost bothering to engage with me on how the non-apology was meaningless before it was published, and started the round of back-slapping yourselves for getting it out on time. Maybe you should take up the apparent new way of handling complaints by dismissing them to below the line comments with Smallbones, rather than calling them "harassment".
          As for "regulars", that word does not mean "editors". Neither does someone redefining their contributions as "button-pusher" stop them being an editor. One need only look at which accounts contributed to this edition of Signpost to see exactly who the the current editors are. Redefining the meaning of words to turn black into white, is not a credible way of showing that the Signpost has done anything. If you are personally serious about taking action, then take some real action, like proposing a real change to editorial policy rather than pretending that the fundamental problem of Signpost being a boy's locker room or a bad parody of Beavis and Butthead, has magically been solved with a bit of hand waving and editors feeling sorry for themselves. -- (talk) 13:00, 8 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
          You very specifically said in your previous comment that this is about the people who were working on the Signpost then, not the current team. Above I mentioned the contributors to both of the last two issues; Barbara, Bri, and Kudpung left because of your constant pitchfork-carrying. Evad and me, the only two surviving members with any claim of editorial control, both encouraged removal of the piece at the MfD. (So yes, we have already taken action, as per your encouragement. Probably more action than the people in charge wanted us to take.) So, despite your accusations, there is in fact no current Signpost writer who worked on previous issues (as you described) who thought we were "right" to publish that highly regrettable essay. Anyway, what's in the past is in the past. The story has been pulled and everyone has learned valuable lessons. No editorial policy change is needed—after what we've all been through, I think it's clear to almost everyone, readers and writers, that we won't make the same mistake again. Not sure why this conversation is still going on. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 00:18, 9 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
It appears that's my bad for responding to Fæ in a failed attempt to point out what I perceived as serious weaknesses in Fæ's perspective. Tried to do it in a way that would help; however, it seems I just made things a bit worse. Deep apologies to Fæ and to any and all other editors and readers whose hatred was sparked by my words. Heaven knows, I much prefer to spark the other side of the "thin line". Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  02:02, 9 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Ah, yeas, even Wikipedia has reached the infection rate where "no minority is allowed to be even remotely be poked fun at, while wikipedia continues to mock and ban anybody who points out the discrimination happening towards non-minorities". Good job boys, you did it. Now go defend the SPLC for being a reliable source for defending this kind of narrative. (talk) 18:08, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Smallbones and : I support your pledge, Smallbones, to not attack protected classes. I am not sure - is this a permanent policy for the Signpost now; will it extend to future Editors-in-Chief? As well, can it be expanded to say that users who personally violate that statement, on the Signpost or off, will not be allowed to write for the Signpost? This comment makes it clear that at least one of the two mentioned users violated that, and they should not be included in the Signpost. ɱ (talk) 18:18, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • I do not believe there is such a thing as "protected classes" on Wikipedia, nor should there be. Genuine criticism is sometimes warranted. That said, we have a civility policy for a reason and The Signpost of all our institutions should not be a venue for needlessly attacking specific groups. -Indy beetle (talk) 05:27, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
      User:Indy beetle, what would be an example of when criticism of someone's race, sex, etc would be appropriate? Benjamin (talk) 21:33, 7 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
      Oh I don't think race, sex, etc. are attributes which should be criticized, but language like "protected classes" sometimes extends to shielding someone from criticism in general because they are a member of one of the said classes. This should not be so. Things like religion and culture are a little more complicated, because those involve ideology and practices that can be readily agreed upon as harmful. Naturally though, those things rarely have much to do with the workings of this encyclopedia (a humorous exception would be how acceptable it is to call people "cunt" across the anglophone world), so that is of minimal concern to The Signpost. -Indy beetle (talk) 22:46, 7 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thank you Smallbones. By taking on this job, you are supporting the community, which helps support the encyclopedia, which helps support the world. Keep up the good work.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  19:04, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks for all the comments! One thing I discovered this month is that The Signpost has a great community of writers and staff. It also has a great community of readers.
@: I can only say that I promise my best efforts to keep the pledge as long as I am EiC, but I think that future editors would be making a big mistake if they also didn't keep the pledge. There's not now enough organizational structure at The Signpost to guarantee what future EiCs will do - it's just a bunch of folks showing up to do some hard work for no pay, and amazingly enough something good results. I'd like to see, at least, the editorial board formalized with some contingency or continuity planning done.
I'm not going to search the past histories of contributors to see if they pass a morality or ethics test. For one thing, it would be just too much work. It would be better handled by en:Wiki's regular processes involving admins and arbcom - but, of course, en:Wiki does not have any rules about discrimination against minorities or protected classes. My job, for now is just to make sure that insensitive, discriminatory, or harassing material is not included in The Signpost (plus making sure that we conform to all other Wikipedia rules, e.g. BLP).
But Ɱ, if you're talking about what en:Wiki should do about not having an anti-discrimination policy, please just post some info about your proposed op-ed in the Newsroom asap, and be ready with a good draft by about April 20th. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:21, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that that this should be handled by community processes, perhaps under a forthcoming nondiscrimination policy, similar to any other conduct issue. The Signpost EIC lacks the authority to write policy or issue topic bans, and they shouldn't be placed in the unenviable position of deciding what is and isn't a violation.
Looking at the bigger picture, I think the Signpost would benefit from more community input and decision-making. The community, not the self-appointed editorial team, should be making decisions about editorial standards and which articles are fit to publish. This would take a lot of pressure off of the EIC and possibly help with the rapid turnover. –dlthewave 21:57, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Generally speaking, projects work best when those investing time and effort into the project's tasks are empowered to make decisions about the project. It would be demotivating for editorial decisions to be made by community members that are otherwise uninvolved in the Signpost. isaacl (talk) 01:56, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
That's only true to a certain extent. Participants and coordinators generally set up the project's internal organizational structure, but they have no control over content decisions. Many of our community processes, such as RFCs, are specifically designed to solicit input from the wider community even though only a small group will do the work of implementing the outcome. The Signpost should be no exception: If it is to be presented as a community newspaper, its content should be controlled by the community at large, not just the editorial team and EIC. This would be a WP:OWN violation anywhere else on Wikipedia.
It's very odd that Wikipedia's internal newspaper attempts to emulate the management structure of a traditional media organization. –dlthewave 03:21, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I did say "generally" to avoid going into too many details, which are probably better discussed in another venue. But to expand further: some projects willingly delegate responsibilities to specific persons; others are expressly implementing community decisions. The key aspect though is the project itself decides how it wants to run, because volunteers choose what contributions they want to make and under what conditions. The Signpost has no special protected status to be the community's only outlet for internal news and opinions, so there is no reason to force Signpost decisions to be made by community members who do not work on the Signpost. Anyone can create a project to aggregate news and opinions in whatever ways they wish, and they can seek community approval to publicize their project in ways similar to the Signpost.
Coming at this from another direction, it's hard to get volunteers to write on a schedule. It's also hard to get a group of volunteers to make consensus decisions on a schedule. Put these two things together and it's really hard to put out a regularly scheduled periodical with crowd-sourced editorial control. Of course it's not necessary to have a regular schedule for a news feed; you can, for example, have a Reddit-like model where content is put out there and then crowd-sourced feedback pushes it up or down. If someone wants to do that within English Wikipedia, more power to them! But I wouldn't impose this way of working on a group of volunteers who wasn't interested in it. isaacl (talk) 06:10, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • To Smallbones: Thanks for taking on a very difficult job. I disagree with one point: "those who do not have a choice about their membership in the group" does not include "those based on ... religion". Even if a person is born and raised in a religion, he or she can choose to convert to another religion or abandon religion altogether. JRSpriggs (talk) 23:35, 31 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • I think it's probably unnecessary to nitpick exactly which groups do or do not have sufficient measure of choice. I might be tempted to question whether people always have a choice about becoming veterans -- but I didn't raise that point because conscription for military service is and was a thing, and avoiding it is awkward. As for religion, some people can be executed for apostasy, so the person cannot always choose to convert religion or abandon their religion without any possible penalty. It's a huge gray area, and it is easier just to accept that these (the list mentioned by Smallbones) are the things about which one should avoid discriminating. MPS1992 (talk) 00:02, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
      • A religion which can only hold its members by threatening them with death if they leave deserves to be disparaged and humiliated. If I were being held hostage by such a group, I would welcome the criticism. JRSpriggs (talk) 02:56, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
        • I'm not quite sure what you mean there. Christianity was such a religion for most of its existence. A minority of Muslim states have the death penalty for apostasy still. Your country (the USA) is funding most or many of that minority of Muslim states. Can we perhaps agree that Smallbones' list is not particularly problematic? MPS1992 (talk) 03:05, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
          • What I am saying is that criticism (including humor) of particular religions should be allowed. That this leaves Christianity (as well as Islam) and the United States Government open to criticism is not a problem. JRSpriggs (talk) 03:17, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
          • Well I guess it is up to Smallbones as to whether he agrees with that, about religion, veteran status, and other things. (I can think of yet another argument, about another item mentioned, but I decided not to mention it because it is not an obsession of mine!) But I think his editorial was very clear. So he will probably let us know if he changes his mind. Have a nice April Fool's Day. MPS1992 (talk) 03:22, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    It seems facile to suggest that one has a choice about one's beliefs. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 08:43, 2 April 2019 (UTC).[reply]
  • The Signpost is a very important part of the project. Many thanks for these remarks and to Smallbones for stepping up. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:59, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Based on Wikipedia's fundamental goal and fundamental rules of cooperation, I would suggest to ban jokes offensive to any group regardless the protected status of the group. We have colleague Wikipedians who are blondes, lawyers, and even blonde lawyers . I don't think all of them will love to read a lawyer joke in Signpost. The only exception is for the group of people who edit Wikipedia and any subgroups thereof, for the same reason African Americans freely address to each other with the N-word. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:30, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Publishing jokes that are offensive to transgender and genderqueer people is quite different to making jokes about lawyers. If you can not see the difference, you probably have much bigger problems than being civil on Wikipedia. Or maybe I am wrong and you will be welcome to write childish locker room jokes for Signpost, given the "storm and fury" non-apology by Smallbones. -- (talk) 21:00, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    If you cannot see that an offense is an offense is an offense, then you probably have much bigger problems than preaching civility in a condescending way. I explained my reasoning. Please assume some GF and instead of personal attack prove than my reasons under the suggestion are invalid. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:31, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for stepping in Smallbones. Anthere (talk)

  • Re "no minority is allowed to be even remotely be poked fun at ...": This, like so many comments at all stages and pages of this debate, misses the point that no minority was actually "poked fun at". The piece was about a fictionalized cult leader making strange demands about honorific titles, special symbols, over-capitalization, post-nominal terms, and unreasonable pronoun usage (all things that WP writing should avoid doing in our own editorial voice) in ways that bear no resemblance to transgender/non-binary use of pronouns (and "It" was specifically selected for this purpose because it's the exact opposite of the TG/NB case (they are sometimes called "it" by transphobes; they don't demand to be called "It"). Nevertheless, the fact that it addressed pronouns at all, in any way was latched onto by the "find any excuse to be outraged, no matter how many wicker effigies I have to burn to raise a drama mob" crowd. It's really troubling that this bullshitty tactic actually mostly worked, and not only let someone already long-term topicbanned from gender drama get away with canvassing, meat-puppetry, and off-site stalking without consequences [so far], but actually resulted in The Signpost being censored and arm-twisted into resignations and an "apology" post. I'll repeat what I've said many times before, about this and some other matters: The real long-term threat to WP's future viability isn't vandals and trolls, as in the early days, but socio-political manipulators of its content and policies undermining both the project's neutrality and its community self-governance. This kind of farcical WP:NOT#ADVOCACY failure (which was piled on with steaming heaps of WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL violations) is basically a kind of roadmap for any sort of PoV-pushing camp. I just hope this is more obvious to more real Wikipedians over time so they become more resistant to this "stragedy".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:21, 9 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Getting humorous about the serious (i.e. random break)

Your irony about childish locker room jokes for Signpost is misplaced. I would love to read some childish locker room jokes in Signpost which deal with Wikipedia. I would also love to see some adult jokes in Signpost which deal with Wikipedia. I would love to see some elitist snobbish jokes which deal with Wikipedia. Signpost is the herald of Wikipedia, isn't it? How about a competition for the best childish joke dealing with Wikipedians?

  • "Knock-knock - Who's that? - A Wikipedian - Wiki-who? ...."
  • "Why did a Wikipedian cross the road?..."
  • "How many Wikipedians are required to change the lightbulb?..."
  • "An inclusionist and a deletionist walk into the bar...."
  • "A wikipedian and a wikivandal land on an inhabited island...."
  • "Why did the Wikipedian paint the toenails red?"
  • "In Americs you read Wikipedia, in Soviet Russia..."
  • "A wikipedian unkorks a dusty bottle and... "
  • "What is the shortest joke on Wikipedia?..."
  • "Wikipedia: you have two cows..."
  • What did Snow White say when she met seven Wikipedians? ...
  • Little green men pull a Wikipedian into a wormhole. In 20 years xe comes back...
  • Top Ten Ways to Troll a Wikipedian: #10: Revert xim with edit summary "Not an improvement. #9 ....
  • What is a Spherical Wikipedian in Vacuum?
  • A Wikipedian had a dream that he was driving a quadriga. Early in the morning he goes to a dream interpreter for an explanation....
  • This one Wikpedian lays his hands on a time machine...
  • What would have happened if the Flintstones decided to create a Wikipedia? ....

Do I need to continue convincing you that there is plenty of humor without insulting anybody? Staszek Lem (talk) 21:31, 1 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

OK, let's give it a shot:
  • An inclusionist and a deletionist walk into a bar. The deletionist rips out the taps for any beers not nationally advertised and all the bottles not on the top shelf. The inclusionist offers everyone a lukewarm diet Dr. Pepper. They both ask the bartender for a donation.
  • In Russia, the Kremlin reads what you write on Wikipedia. In America, the Kremlin writes what you read on Wikipedia.
  • Wikipedia: You have two cows. After discussion, your neighbors reach consensus that the cows belong to them, dismissing your objections per WP:1AM. You call the police. The police give the cows to whomever touched them last.
  • A Wikipedian and a vandal are stranded on a desert island. On the first day, the Wikipedian builds a raft. At night the vandal destroys it. The second day, the Wikipedian tells the vandal that one or more of his contributions to the raft did not appear constructive, and rebuilds the raft. The vandal destroys it. The third day, the Wikipedian asks the vandal to please refrain from making unconstructive changes to the raft, and rebuilds it again. The vandal destroys it. The fourth day, the Wikipedian tells the vandal to please stop destroying the raft, and that if he destroys the raft again, he may not be allowed to participate in the building of the raft. The Wikipedian rebuilds the raft again and the vandal destroys it again. On the fifth day an admin arrives with the navy, announces that nobody can build a raft until everyone on the island agrees on whether or not a raft should be built, and sails off.
Levivich 02:51, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Levivich: that raft joke is hilarious. Well done! Bradv🍁 03:33, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
BOOM 👏👏👏 JFG talk 20:53, 3 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Top 10 Ways to troll a Wikipedian:
  1. Create a numbered list
  1. And then ...
  1. Wait for ...
  1. The payoffs!
  1. Muahaha!!!
  1. Is this 10 yet?
  1. No! This is the 7th item![citation needed]
  1. Yes! This is the 10th item![undue weight?discuss]
Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:27, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
OK, here's my top ten ways to troll. isaacl (talk) 04:02, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Q: How many genderqueer people does it take to write a Signpost article?
A: None, as none feels welcome here.
-- (talk) 04:16, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Could probably say the same about right-leaning conservative people. -- œ 05:14, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Nah, people like Fae think those are actual Nazis that need to be banned. (talk) 17:37, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
So, for Fæ is OK to insult both genderqueer people and the whole Wikipedia community. What about zillons of articles written in wikipedia on LGBT topics? Why writing for Signpost would be impossible? If one "feels" unwelcome, then you better file an ANI/I complaint, because THAT would be a gross violation of Wikipedia ways, and the complaint will certainly be taken seriously. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Here's a setup for a joke; maybe someone can think of an amusing way that it might end (since I certainly can't): Fae walks into a discussion of Wikipedia humor... EEng 02:52, 22 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, wait, here's a good one:
Q: How many tsk-tsking doctrinaire genderqueer thought police does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That's not funny!
And if you change change a light bulb to screw in a light bulb, the permutations are really endless. EEng 03:09, 22 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I'll try one from Stasek Lem's list above:

  • "What is the shortest joke on Wikipedia? WP:IAR

Well, you can see why I won't be writing the humour column.

@Levivich: Please write 20 more jokes similar to the above. Include at least one about Wikilawyers. Submit to The Signpost, and we'll have next month's Humour column. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:37, 3 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

After a long trial, a wikilawyer's client is found guilty. "REVERT!" announces the wikilawyer.
The judge laughs. "What? There's no rule that allows a 'revert'." The wikilawyer shrugs. "NOTBUREAUCRACY."
"Of course it is," says the judge, pointing to the bookshelf behind him. "This is a court of law. We have statutes, regulations ..." The wikilawyer interrupts: "OTHERSTUFFEXISTS!"
The judge grows impatient. "That's enough! I'm declaring you out of order!" The wikilawyer waives his hand dismissively: "IGNOREALLRULES."
"This is my courtroom," says the judge, "and I'm in charge here!" "{{Citation needed}}," responds the wikilawyer, wagging his finger.
The judge opens one of the books and points to a page. "Very well, it's right here, see?" The wikilawyer takes out a pen and crosses out the paragraph.
The judge jumps out of her chair. "Just what do you think you're doing?!" she demands.
The wikilawyer smiles, "ANYONECANEDIT." Levivich 05:44, 17 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Welcome Smallbones! Thank you for filling such an important role. -- œ 05:14, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'd also like to add my welcome and thanks to Smallbones for taking this on. On the humour front, I've steered clear of reading that column in the Signpost after having read some previous entries and found them utterly unfunny. Writing humour is difficult and takes special talent, especially in a global, multicultural context such as Wikipedia. I'd much rather see some snippets of lighthearted humour included within the context of a Signpost report than have a regular column dedicated to trying (and usually failing) to make people laugh. The former is usually amusing and relatively effortless, the latter is the opposite. WaggersTALK 10:41, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    @Waggers: while humour is certainly subjective, this issue's column is pretty lighthearted, and seemed a return to the roots of the humour column from years ago. Not quite chuckle worthy, IMO, but certainly enough to make you smile if you're easily amused. Can't know what the future holds for that column, but this is something that could have been published in anything from the prudest of Victorian-era newspaper, to the most recent of New Yorker issues. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:24, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks Headbomb, I shall take a look! WaggersTALK 16:31, 2 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

How many Wikipedians does it take to change a light bulb? 5 - One to notice the bulb is out and tag it for changing, one to install a new bulb, two others to argue over what color/type of bulb would be the best replacement, and an admin to revert to the broken status-quo bulb until they can find a consensus. Argento Surfer (talk) 13:10, 3 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • Ok, I'll take the bait...
  1. There comes a time on Wikipedia when it's important to know when to stop arguing with editors, and simply let them be wrong.
  2. Do you want to make money from Wikipedia? It's easy! Log out and go to work!
  3. Wikipedia: where anyone can edit and enjoy the benefits of income equality.

Atsme Talk 📧 01:48, 10 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I haven't read the wall of comments that precedes. But apropos to Smallbones's concluding comment, may I just add that before anyone starts running to ANI, try to AGF and contact the editor first. These things don't always have to escalate. Really. Let's try to be a community. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:09, 12 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • New comment, not a reply to StevenJ81 - As for not making fun of groups: I hope The Signpost editors aren't including groups that have embraced being made fun of, even if there is or ever was a member who had no real choice to join. There are some universities and student groups that embrace being made fun of, but no doubt some of their past or present members were all but forced to enroll or join by family members or by other outside pressure. For example, Texas A&M University is a highly-respected university, but as a whole, its students and alumni accept and embrace "Aggie Jokes." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:30, 19 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Do you have a reliable source which states that all aggies do not object to aggie jokes? (BTW if you find ones, you may even write "Aggie joke" article!) Staszek Lem (talk) 22:57, 19 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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